A dark enchantment blights the land.
Agnieszka loves her village, set deep in a peaceful valley. But the nearby enchanted forest casts a shadow over her home. Many have been lost to the Wood, and none returns unchanged. The villagers depend on an ageless wizard, the Dragon, to protect them from the forest's dark magic. However, his help comes at a terrible price. One young village woman must serve him for 10 years, leaving all she values behind.
Agnieszka fears her dearest friend, Kasia, will be picked at the next choosing, for she's everything Agnieszka is not - beautiful, graceful and brave. Yet when the Dragon comes, it's not Kasia he takes.
©2016 Naomi Novik (P)2016 Macmillan Digital Audio
"I'm walking but I'm reading!"
Folklore fantasy full of malevolent woods and powerful magic. Interesting twists in the plot and characters who develop and grow. Very enjoyable. Solid narration.
It's refreshing to find a heroine in a fantasy story that is actually afraid of magic and has all the limited worldly knowledge of her peasant upbringing. The forest was a horrific looming, presence over the whole novel, and a wonderful antagonistic force that that protagonists struggle to contend with. With interesting and well developed side characters, this was a great read.
Lovely story, with a fascinating and very sinister baddie in the form of an entire evil forest! Feels like a Russian fairytale (as it is meant to) and the pace is brisk and exciting. A real pleasure.
i love this book, i read it aswell as listened to the audio book, sadly the narrater didnt put as much emotion into as i would have liked. there are scenes of war where the main character is exclaiming her horror and the narrater reads it as if shes describing how a flower looks. but it is a beautil story and one of my favorites
I've read a few reviews online saying this book is "unsatisfying" but I whole heartedly disagree. It was wonderful. I haven't been this obsessed with a book in a while.
was a good book, struggling to find another worth listening to after this one. it was hard to turn off and had a draw that made me want to keep listening to find out what would happen next.
Brilliant Narration, and a story that resembles a dark fairy tale, enjoyed this thoroughly. Highly recommend.
"confused about the hugely varied reviews? read thi"
Ok so the first 5 chapters she is a bit whiney and whinge repetitively about her predicament. he's a miserable negative pratt but do stick with it. the book totally redeems itself soon after and it's a great book. The narrator is perfect for the character, at once whimsical and aloof and real too so you feel you know agnieshka. I'm sure I spelt that wrong, ah well. The wood is fascinating and the magic gets better and better. a highly engaging book.
A wonderful and engulfing story with so many perfect little details narrated masterfully
would recommend to everyone, especially fantasy enthusiasts
Truly magical and completely engrossing! Really loved it and very sad as I came to its end! Beautifully written and very well read! A complete delight! Where are the rest of her books, please?
"Exceptional epic fantasy"
Despite listening to over 300 books a year, I've only found two new fantasy authors I'd really recommend in 2016. This is a beautifully narrated story with hints of probably Russian folk tales, though I don't know where or how varied the author's influences. It feels like the literary equivalent or a monsoon in the desert.
I'd recommend this book to anyone who for reasons beyond my comprehension likes Twilight saga. Same story of hardly of age girl suddenly finding herself very special and in love with some mysterious hundred year old man. Which I personally find far from fascinating, but dull and degrading. I've also discovered what seems the only disadvantage of an audio book - you can suddenly find yourself listening to a "his firm thigh between my legs" passage without being able to flick through the pages to escape it.
I deeply regret buying this book and my own habit of not being able to put down a story I've started to read or listen.
"Amazing and Addictive! Bought the book as well!"
I bought this as I've loved Naomi Novik's Temeraire series for years. I wondered if she could wow as much with a standalone book and I think she's surpassed herself! Absorbing characters, a complex universe that could go well beyond the one book and I love the narrator, too. She captures the voice of the protaganist so well.
Thoroughly recommend this book! Grabs you instantly and holds you throughout. I only wish she'd done more!
wonderful story captures your interest from the beginning till the end. definitely worth the listen
Wonderfully written and read. Probably one of the best narrations I've heard. Will be looking out for more by this author and narrator.
Loved this story, reminds me of the old, traditional fairytales I loved as a child except a more 'grown up' version.
"wonderful,brilliant and beautiful."
could not get enough! I just wish there was more of it! no doubt I will listen to it again!
I very much enjoyed this book even if the romantic relationship wasn't developed well enough.
As soon as it has finished I wanted to hear it again! Great voice, wonderful story - I loved it! 10/10!!
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.